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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Illness & disability
hysteriahys‧te‧ri‧a /hɪˈstɪəriə $ -ˈsteriə/ ●○○ noun [uncountable]  1 EXCITEDextreme excitement that makes people cry, laugh, shout etc in a way that is out of control In a fit of hysteria, Silvia blamed me for causing her father’s death.2 EXCITEDa situation in which a lot of people feel fear, anger, or excitement, which makes them behave in an unreasonable way Since the general’s death, the population has been gripped by mass hysteria.3 medicalMI a medical condition that upsets someone’s emotions and makes them suddenly feel very nervous, excited, anxious etc
Examples from the Corpus
hysteriaDuring the 1950s, the U.S. was gripped by anti-Communist hysteria.It was difficult, however, to develop a comprehensive program in this atmosphere of fear, even hysteria.Helen wondered if she was seeing the first moment of a gathering hysteria.But the news of serial killings last year led to near mass hysteria.The pushing and grabbing at yesterday's sales bordered on mass hysteria.Given the pluralistic nature of society, they can only be the product of hysteria and demagogic manipulation.Isabel screamed again, twisting her head from side to side, catapulted brutally into panic-stricken hysteria.She suggests that hysteria was an alternative role option for women incapable of accepting their life situation in rigid family roles.What the experimenters did not account for in their preparations was the hysteria that surrounded polio epidemics.The hysteria of the screaming girls was somewhat frightening.mass hysteriaWas this all just a matter of runaway credulity, mass hysteria, or overwrought salesmanship?I've never before or since seen instant mass hysteria to match it.But the news of serial killings last year led to near mass hysteria.All they had in common was their sense of urgency: the mass hysteria that characterizes the week before Christmas.Total confusion reigns supreme, and an atmosphere close to mass hysteria ensues.
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